Walking Oliver Sing-A-Long
~Review by Gerald Haigh, from The Times Educational Supplement, 26 March 2004 'Sing-A-Long has 25 favourites, from 'This Old Man' through 'Hush, Little Baby' to 'Polly Wolly Doodle' All those songs, in fact, that you vaguely know and wish you could find. Look no further, for here they are, beautifully sung by Paul Austin Kelly (with a little help from his friends and Oliver the dog) The huge strenth of these productions lies in the sheer musicianship that's on display. Kelly is a trained singer, but he has the facility, which many professionals do not, to use his voice in a range of styles from operatic to several versions of Country and Western. His 'blue grass' sound, for example, is a delight-you can practically see the hand behind his ear. Accompaniments are a combination of instruments and clever studio work, and every song is treated with originality and sheer good taste. Keep playing them [Walking Oliver CDs] to the children, because there's enough here to bear any amount of repetition.' (end of review) 25 timeless children's favourites make this the must-have album in any children's music collection. Over an hour of great music! The Walking Oliver Sing-A-Long gives these cherished classics fresh expression through the magical voice and musical arrangements of Paul Austin Kelly. The CD includes full-color 16 page mini-book with all lyrics and whimsical illustrations by award-winning illustrator Korky Paul. PAUL AUSTIN KELLY is the co-Director of Walking Oliver Ltd and a world-renowned opera singer. But don't panic! Even Paul knows that most children's ears aren't yet ready for the intensity of the operatic style! Nevertheless, as a highly trained musician, he knows what quality music for kids should be, so he brings his formidable musical talents in both composition and voice to the Walking Oliver musical repertoire. As agile on guitar as keyboard, with a voice that maneuvers skillfully and playfully through a wide variety of musical styles, Paul brings the joy of music and the talent of musicianship to every Walking Oliver recording, making the music come alive for children who can't help but sing along! In 2002, Paul Austin Kelly made it official. From country to folk, jazz to hip hop, rock to pop and even classical, Walking Oliver recordings would be imaginative, insightful musical journeys, always backed by quality musical performances, always delivering on the promise of quality music for kids. Still, it has been with the collaboration of his artistic partners that Paul's original mission comes full circle. After having been in contact for more than three years via email and telephone, famed children's illustrator Korky Paul finally hopped aboard the Walking Oliver bandwagon and not only designed the irresistible WO logo, complete with a whistling, finger-snapping Oliver, but also joined the team as designer and illustrator of their CD mini-books and labels, giving Walking Oliver both a fun-loving canine mascot and fantastical full-colour fun to accompany children's listening experience. Because while Walking Oliver will always be first and foremost about quality music for kids, music is just the beginning. Through music, words and art, Walking Oliver is dedicated to creating those special moments of love and laughter for kids and their families. Paul has performed leading roles with many of the world's most prestigious opera companies including the Royal Opera at Covent Garden, La Scala in Milan, the Metropolitan Opera in New York and the Glyndebourne Festival. He has made numerous guest appearances on BBC Radio. Mr. Kelly has also worked professionally as a jazz singer and is an accomplished guitarist and trumpet player. A native of upstate New York, Paul Austin Kelly lives with his wife Carol, son Zack and, of course, Oliver Himself, at their home in Lewes, East Sussex, England.